Best Key Lime Pie

For some of us, Key Lime Pie is complete decadence and I have a simple recipe. I can’t take credit for it though. I actually discovered it in an old church cookbook and something very similar on the back of my favorite key lime juice: Nellie & Joe’s from Key West, Florida.

Key lime juice is quite unique and comes from tiny qumquat-like limes that are actually yellow in color. But they are very juicy and make wonderful cocktails, marinades and pies!

The recipe is simple:
9″ Graham cracker pie shell
14 oz. Can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs separated into whites and yolks
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp. Cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Combine egg yolks, milk and juice until fully blended. Pour into pie shell. Beat egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar and continue beating while gradually adding sugar. When they form stiff peaks, spread the soft white meringue over the top of the pie. Make little peaks in it with the edge of a spoon for a lovely presentation. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Let cool for another 15 minutes before refrigerating.

Some of you may prefer whipped cream to the meringue, so if you are one of them, simply omit that step and bake for the same amount of time. Top with whipped cream just before serving.

Then sit with a nice slice and conjure images in your mind of shaded hammocks and palm trees, tiki huts and mojitoes.

This pie has all of the textures – creamy filling over crunchy pie shell and accentuated with silky, airy, voluptuous meringue – and the perfect balance of sweet to tart. It won’t leave you feeling heavy like some desserts can, just pleasantly refreshed.

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